Saturday, September 11, 2004

Morning Reads

All links via News Forum Home Page and her wonderful readers.

Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun-Times, "CBS falls for Kerry campaign's fake memo"

The tragedy for Rather, Oliphant, Krugman and Co. is that even if the memos were authentic nobody would care. Their boy Kerry had a crummy August not because he didn't hammer Bush for being AWOL in the Spanish-American War but because the senator's AWOL in the present war. Big Media are trashing their own reputations in service to a man who can never win.

After the 2002 election, I wrote, ''Remind me never to complain about 'liberal media bias' again. Right now, liberal media bias is conspiring to assist the Democrats to sleepwalk over the cliff.''

The media and the Democrats sustain each other's make-believe land. Dan Rather tells his staff, ''Kerry's told me there's nothing to this Swiftvet thing.'' Kerry tells his, ''Rather's assured me this Swiftvet story's going nowhere.''

George W. Bush ought to wake up every morning and thank the Lord the media aren't on his side.

Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard, "The Luck of the President"

To the surprise of many, Bush has actually honed an effective economic message with interesting specifics, numbers, and comparisons. For instance, did you know that the 1.7 million jobs added in the past year in the United States "is more than [the jobs created in] Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, and France combined?" Bush noted this in Colmar, Pennsylvania, last week. He also addressed the "subchapter S" issue: Under this section of the tax code, 90 percent of small business owners pay at the income tax rate, not the corporate rate. And since "70 percent of new jobs in America are created by small businesses," Kerry's plan to raise taxes on the two top brackets would be a tax on "job creators," Bush said. "It doesn't make sense."

By contrast, Kerry is tongue-tied. He won't talk to national reporters covering his campaign for fear of being asked about his claim of spending Christmas Eve 1968 in Cambodia. Nor will he sit down for questioning by columnists or commentators knowledgeable about foreign policy because he's bound to contradict his earlier statements. And not since Jimmy Carter in 1980 has a Democratic nominee been more unpopular with his base voters.

Donald Lambro in Human Events Online "Confusion Is Kerry Campaign's Only Constant"

It's difficult to recall a presidential candidate who has changed course on a major national security issue as many times as Kerry has done over the past two years.

Kerry's flip-flops, as well as his unending concentration on his Vietnam experiences and Iraq, have long been an under-the-radar concern within the party's leadership. Now many Democrats, especially at the state level, are voicing their criticism publicly. [...]

"He has to refocus the debate on domestic issues," adds Harold Ickes, former deputy chief of staff to the Clinton White House. "Kerry can't ignore the commander in chief stuff, but that's not where the election is going to be won or lost."

Kerry seemed to be taking this advice as he headed into the Labor Day weekend, but then he lurched back into the Iraq war debate in a renewed bid to re-energize his party's antiwar base, just as Bush's top strategists hoped he would.

Two months from now, that decision may be seen as the worst mistake of his turbulent campaign.

James S. Robbins in National Review Online, "Remember 9/11?"

The terrorists had a much different conflict in mind. Three years after 9/11 the US was supposed to be mired in a deadly stalemate in Afghanistan, feeding men and materiel into a fruitless effort to defeat the cunning terrorists and their heroic Taliban allies. We were supposed to be losing that war in the same way the Soviet Union lost when it fought in the Afghan mountains, draining our economy and demonstrating that our Superpower status was illusory. Terror attacks would continue inside the United States, and a growing antiwar movement would be agitating for peace. The Muslim masses were supposed to be rising in the streets against heretical regimes, other terrorist groups and even conventional armies in the Mideast were to be declaring fealty to bin Laden by now. The rest of the world would be too frightened or disengaged to be involved, they would watch from the sidelines lest they found themselves under siege; and for their weakness they soon would be. Yes, all of this was in the plan, the outline bin Laden published in 1996, his roadmap to uniting the Muslim Ummah and being recognized as the Mahdi. But it didn't happen. The follow-on attacks were thwarted. The world united. The Coalition acted. The Taliban were overthrown, bin Laden put on the run, most of his cronies killed or captured. The Muslim masses did not rise up. One sometimes hears reasonably intelligent people say that al Qaeda is more dangerous now than they were before 9/11, but they cannot seem to pull off even small-scale domestic attacks, let alone another "Holy Tuesday."